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MOBILE ARTICLES / ANDROID, IPHONE, IPAD, AND MORE

Spending time near waterfalls can be inspirational and relaxing, providing the perfect setting to take a break away from our busy lives and routines. Add a refreshing view of cascading beauty to your Nexus 7′s screen with the first in our series of Waterfalls Wallpaper collections.

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Like any piece of technology, iPads aren’t completely obvious when you first pick them up. They have their own language of gestures, swipes, and button presses you should learn to become more comfortable using them.

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Android has a powerful permission system that forces apps to declare the exact permissions they require — whether it’s displaying notifications, reading your contacts, or accessing your location. Controlling these permissions as a user is possible, but more complicated.

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Android 4.4 added a new screen-recording feature, making it much easier to create video recordings of an Android device’s screen in MP4 format. This is useful when creating walkthroughs and tutorials or just showing off an app.

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Don’t let the version number trick you, Android 4.4 KitKat isn’t a minor release. This isn’t a small update like Android 4.3, but a big new release with lots of important features.

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Google’s Nexus devices are supposed to receive timely updates, but the staggered rollout means it can take weeks for devices to receive over-the-air updates. Luckily, there’s a geekier way to upgrade to the latest version of Android.

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Apple’s iOS is nowhere near as vulnerable to malware as Windows is, but it’s not completely impervious. “Configuration profiles” are one possible way to infect an iPhone or iPad just by downloading a file and agreeing to a prompt.

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Google’s working on a new launcher for Android, one that seamlessly integrates Google Now. The Google Experience Launcher is officially exclusive to the Nexus 5, but you can easily use it on any other Android smartphone or tablet.

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There is something wonderfully unique about having free time and the option to just pick a road, drive down it, and see where it may lead you. Travel to new destinations on your iPhone’s screen with the first in our series of Open Road Wallpaper collections.

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iCloud is Apple’s cloud storage service, offering integrated online backup and syncing for Apple devices. iCloud is built-in on iPhones, iPads, and Macs, but can also be accessed on Windows.

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Are the photos you take with your iPhone or iPad backed up in case you lose your device? If you’re just relying on iCloud to manage your important memories, your photos may not be backed up at all.

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Apple makes it easy to synchronize bookmarks between the Safari browser on a Mac and the Safari browser on iOS, but you don’t have to use Safari — or a Mac — to sync your bookmarks back and forth.

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Android devices aren’t usually associated with physical keyboards. But, since Google is now bundling their QuickOffice app with the newly-released Kit-Kat, it appears inevitable that at least some Android tablets (particularly 10-inch models) will take on more productivity roles.

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The air starts to crackle around you as a bright light appears, serving as a portal that transports you into a whole new and strange world beyond your imagination. Travel to new realms of thought, emotion, and energy on your iPad’s screen with the first in our series of Mystical Energy Wallpaper collections.

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The Developer Options menu in Android is a hidden menu with a variety of advanced options. These options are intended for developers, but many of them will be interesting to geeks.

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iTunes isn’t an amazing program on Windows. There was a time when Apple device users had to plug their devices into their PCs or Macs and use iTunes for device activation, updates, and syncing, but iTunes is no longer necessary.

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Android phones — and tablets, too — display animations when moving between apps and screens. These animations look very slick, but they waste time — especially on fast phones, which could switch between apps instantly if not for the animations.

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Apple loves to criticize the state of Android tablet apps when pushing its own iPad tablets. But just how bad is the Android tablet app situation? Should you avoid Android tablets like the Nexus 7 because of the apps?

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Android allows developers to replace its keyboard with their own keyboard apps. This has led to experimentation and great new features, like the gesture-typing feature that’s made its way into Android’s official keyboard after proving itself in third-party keyboards.

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Android allows you to customize your home screen, adding widgets, arranging shortcuts and folders, choosing a background, and even replacing the included launcher entirely. You can install icon packs to theme your app icons, too.

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Cell phone contracts are bad. You get a seemingly cheap phone up front, but you more than pay for the cost of the phone over two years. Prepaid phone plans are surging in North America for a reason.

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Textures can elicit an entire spectrum of sensation and emotions when we interact with them physically or visually. Choose how you want your Nexus 7 tablet’s screen to ‘look and feel’ with the first in our series of Textures Wallpaper collections.

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iPads and Android tablets can’t run Windows apps locally, but they can access a Windows desktops remotely — even with a physical keyboard. In a pinch, the same tricks can be used to access a Windows desktop from a smartphone.

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Rainy days are great for staying indoors to read your favorite new book, taking a nap, or even going outside for a quiet walk. Let the rain fall on your iPhone’s screen with the first in our series of Rainy Day Wallpaper collections.

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Android is open source, so developers can take its code, add features, and build their own operating system images for Android phones and tablets. Many Android geeks install such custom ROMs — but why?

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